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The Clear Leadership Course:

A Four Day Class in the Skills of Self-Differentiation,
Partnership and Organizational Learning

The Clear Leadership Course has spread across the world because of its enormous relevance and impact for businesses and organizations of all types in today’s fast moving, complex environment. These times demand genuine collaboration and learning amongst leaders if they are to succeed into the medium term and that is what this program delivers. 

During the Clear Leadership Course you will develop new capacities to:

  • be more aware of your moment to moment experience and understand why that is crucial in leading yourself and other people clearly;
  • accurately describe your own experience to others when needed so that you can lead effectively;
  • understand the experience of others so that you can build effective, long term collaborative relationships, build commitment for shared results and make good decisions;
  • look for and encourage more of the behaviour that you want from yourself and those you rely upon in your work;
  • understand a totally different type of learning that actually allows individuals and organizations to transform their work together;
  • lead learning for yourself and with those you work with, so that your organization can respond to today’s conditions with agility, innovation, resilience and courage.

These outcomes flow from an integrated combination of researched, tested theory and highly interactive activities and skills practice. The skills part is crucial – people leave the course able to think differently but also to do things differently. Key skills include:

  • the ability to recognize and describe in sufficient depth what is happening for you in a given moment, so that you can communicate with sufficient transparency for others to understand you, trust you and want to follow you;
  • the ability to help others recognize what is happening for them in a given moment, so that you can collaborate fully with them and help them to contribute their best work;
  • a particular way to intentionally create more of the behaviour you want to see, in yourself and in others;
  • the ability to look at your thinking more clearly and rigorously, so that you can become more open to real learning that can shift stuck patterns in your own work and potentially that of your wider organizational culture;
  • a specific method for preparing yourself and others to have conversations about important issues so that you can all learn in a different way that changes things that have got stuck.

The course is modularized for delivery one day at a time, spaced out in any sequence. The learning outcomes for each module are:

Class 1: The Aware Self

  • What partnership is and why it's the core of collaboration at work
  • Why our normal ways of "managing people" destroys partnership
  • How to learn from our collective experience
  • How our normal ways of managing anxiety create interpersonal mush
  • Why "self-differentiation" and  leading learning is necessary for collaborative work
  • How to uncover all of one's experience through the experience cube
  • The difference between clear language and language that mystifies
  • The negative effects of mystifying language and the positive effects of clear language
  • The difference between the "here and now" and the "there and then" and how self awareness can only happen "right here, right now"
  • The different impacts of talking to others right here, right now verus our normal way of talking.

 Class 2: The Descriptive Self

  • What the sub-skills of the Descriptive Self are
  • The difference between being descriptive and being "open and honest"
  • How to describe your experience in transparent ways
  • The difference between being transparent and being intimate
  • The difference between being descriptive and being judgmental
  • How to describe your judgments in ways that clarify your experience and reduce defensiveness
  • The first part of conducting an organizational learning conversation

Class 3: The Curious Self & Appreciative Self

  • What the sub-skills of the Curious Self are
  • What the sub-skills of the Appreciative Self are
  • Listening through the experience cube
  • Where your reactivity comes from and how to park it
  • Understanding the role of shame in reducing interpersonal clarity
  • How to track and fan others
  • How to confront others in a way that gets them to be descriptive, not defensive
  • The second part of conducting an organizational learning conversation

Class 4: Bringing the Skills to Work

  • The entire Organizational Learning Conversation process
  • When to have learning coversations
  • An opportunity to integrate all the skills from the previous three days
  • How to coach others through a learning conversation with you
  • How to mediate learning conversations among others
  • How to reduce conflict in all your relationships
  • How to use appreciative processes to create change


In this 10 minute video Gervase Bushe and Michael Covert explain the ideas behind, and the benefits of, the Clear Leadership Course.


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